Vanda orchid

Vanda orchid

Orchids are monocots belonging to the Orchideaceae family. Their flower is among the most particular on earth as it must resemble the pollinating insect characteristic of that species in shape. Many times the most representative petal in this sense is precisely the labellum, which many times also reproduces the colors of insects. Of course, there are several species of orchids, each of which is known for its characteristic flower. For example, the Orchid belonging to the Vanda genus contains about eight thousand different species. In particular, speaking of the Vanda orchid in general, it can be said that it is a typical plant of China, Indonesia, the Malay Archipelago, India and Australia. Its name in Indian means "plant appreciated for its shape, color as well as fragrance". Usually this is a plant that likes to be grown in baskets suspended in the air without excessive contact with the soil. Its roots are large enough and unbranched. The leaves can be of different shape and size depending on the species. We essentially remember three types of leaves: ribbon, cylindrical and intermediate. This plant grows well throughout the year and adapts well to crosses between different species.

Environment and exposure

All plants belonging to the Vanda genus need to live well in fairly high temperatures and a very humid environment. In fact, we could say that these plants do not have to live in an environment where it drops below 12/14 ° C in winter and survive well in summer temperatures of 30 ° C. Of course, if kept in these temperature conditions, the plant will grow well throughout the year. As expected, in order to survive in such hot environments, these plants also need a sufficiently high ventilation to prevent the leaves from dying. This plant loves sunlight, but its behavior towards the latter varies according to the shape of its leaves. In fact, the Vanda with ribbon-like leaves bears direct sunlight only in the morning, when the radiation is still normal, vice versa, the Vanda with cylindrical leaves can be exposed to light radiation throughout the day.


Vanda is a plant that does not like contact with the ground. Although most of the time it is cultivated as a pot plant, it is an Epiphyte, in the sense that it lives well on a fixed support such as a piece of trunk or a suspended basket. So rather than talking about soil it is a good idea to talk about substrate which will be made mainly from a particular type of moss perhaps mixed with polystyrene which makes everything lighter and facilitates drainage, or cork.

Planting and repotting

The Vanda usually does not need to be repotted, as it is a plant based on a central stem that grows permanently with respect to the side branches. Repotting should only be done when the support is rotten or broken. To prevent the roots from undergoing stress during repotting, it is necessary to wet them first with warm water and then proceed with the operation. It must be remembered that the roots must have a large space available to be able to breathe. The ideal period for this operation is always spring. After repotting, it is a good idea to keep them in the shade for a week.


Considering that the Vanda needs quite high temperatures, watering must be frequent and constant. In summer they must be daily. Furthermore, it must be remembered that this plant needs a humidity of around 80%, so it must be very sprayed with water at room temperature.


Al Vanda should be fertilized at least once a week especially in the period of greatest growth. It should be known, however, that the fertilizers to be used must not have large concentrations of nitrogen, they must be perfectly balanced, especially during the flowering period when large quantities of this element could damage the wonderful flowers. Fertilization must be done with a humid substrate.


In the Vanda the continuous inflorescences always arise on the same stem and it is for this reason that it must not be eliminated through pruning.


Vanda produces many lateral shoots which, after a certain period of time, when they begin to develop small roots, can be transported to a new support to give birth to a new seedling.


Vanda flourishes when kept in the right conditions. Throughout the year even 3 or 4 times. The inflorescence to which it gives life is in the shape of a spike to which 12 flowers are linked which can remain alive for several weeks. The flower has identical sepals and petals, the only thing that changes is the lip which can have different shapes depending on the species.

Diseases and parasites

Usually these plants are not attacked by particular forms of parasites or diseases. On the other hand, it may happen that wrong watering can cause the leaves to rot and cause serious damage to the plant.

Vanda Orchid Plant Profile

The Spruce / Letícia Almeida

There are around 80 species and many more hybrids and subspecies in the Vanda genus of orchids. Vandas are monopodial orchids, meaning they grow from a single stem with roots emerging from the bottom. The leaves are alternating, climbing the stem in a ladder-like progression. Older Vandas frequently branch, and if left undivided the plants can grow into very large specimens. Vandas flower from spikes that emerge from the central stem and poke out between the leaves.

They are known for large, robust roots that are difficult to contain in any sort of pot. In fact, Vandas are primarily epiphytic — i.e., They attach their roots to the surface of a nearby plant or debris to obtain moisture and nutrients, rather than growing in soil. They're best planted in the early spring as they're coming out of their winter dormancy. And they will grow fairly quickly under optimal conditions.

Botanical Name Vanda
Common Name Vanda orchid
Plant Type Perennial flower
Mature Size 1 to 3 feet tall
Sun Exposure Partial sun
Soil Type Soilless growing medium, such as peat moss or bark
Soil pH 6.4 to 6.8
Bloom Time Cyclical every few months
Flower Color Pink, red, yellow, orange, blue, purple, white
Hardiness Zones 10 to 11
Native Area Asia

The Phalenopsis

It is themost widespread orchid and known, it is quite robust and never fails in flower shops and flower shops. It owes its name to its resemblance to the butterflies with spread wings (phaleana).

It is characterized by the presence of large leaves, fleshy and leathery of a very intense green color, which can reach a length of 50 cm, and with a developed and branched root system.

THE flowers they are carried by rather simple stems and are normally of medium-large size, with the petals almost equal to each other.


The name "Vanda" is derived from the Sanskrit (वन्दाका) [5] name for the species Vanda roxburghii (a synonym of Vanda tessellata). [6] [7]

The genus has a monopodial growth habit with highly variable leaves according to habitat. Some have flat, typically broad, ovoid leaves (strap-leaves), while others have cylindrical (terete), fleshy leaves and are adapted to dry periods. The stems of these orchids vary considerably in size some are miniature plants and some have a length of several meters. The plants can become quite massive in habitat and in cultivation, and epiphytic species possess very large, rambling aerial root systems.

The few to many flattened flowers grow on a lateral inflorescence. Most show a yellow-brown color with brown markings, but they also appear in white, green, orange, red, and burgundy shades. The lip has a small spur. Vanda species usually bloom every few months and the flowers last for two to three weeks.

Many Vanda orchids (especially V. coerulea) are endangered, and have never been common because they are usually only infrequently encountered in habitat and grow only in disturbed forest areas with high light levels, and are severely threatened and vulnerable to habitat destruction. [3] The export of wild-collected specimens of the blue orchid (V. coerulea) and other wild Vanda species is prohibited worldwide, as all orchids are listed on Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species.

This genus is one of the five most horticulturally important orchid genera, because it has some of the most magnificent flowers to be found in the orchid family. [ citation needed ] This has contributed much to the work of hybridists producing flowers for the cut flower market. V. coerulea is one of the few botanical orchids which can produce varieties with blue flowers (actually a very bluish purple), a property much appreciated for producing interspecific and intergeneric hybrids.

The color blue is rare among orchids, and only Thelymitra maned, a terrestrial species from Australia, produces flowers that are truly "blue" among the orchids, the other being Aganisia cyanea, a lowland species from northern South America that is difficult to cultivate, but has metallic blue flowers. Both of these species, much like Vanda, also have a bluish-purple tint towards the inner petals of the flowers.

Vanda dearei is one of the chief sources of yellow color in Vanda hybrids. Vanda 'Miss Joaquim', a terrestrial Vanda variety and natural hybrid with terete (cylindrical) leaves, is the national flower of Singapore.

The plants do not possess pseudobulbs, but do possess leathery, drought-resistant leaves. Almost all of the species in this genus are very large epiphytes found in disturbed areas in habitat and prefer very high light levels, the plants having large root systems. Some of these species have a monopodial vine-like growth habit, and the plants can quickly become quite massive.

These plants prefer consistent conditions day-to-day in cultivation to avoid dropping their bottom leaves. The epiphytic species are best accommodated in large wooden baskets, bare rooted, which allows for the large aerial root systems. Disturbing or damaging the roots of large, mature vandaceous orchid plants, and in particular, Vanda and Aerides species, can result in the plants failing to flower and going into decline for a season or more. These plants do not tolerate disturbance or damage of their root systems in cultivation when they become mature. The terete-leaved terrestrial species are very easy to cultivate.

When grown bare-rooted, the epiphytic species require daily watering and weekly feeding and are very heavy feeders in cultivation. They can be grown out-of-doors in Hawaii and the like provided they are given some shade.

In a recent molecular study of the genus Vanda , [8] several Genera including the former Genus Ascocentrum, Neofinetea and Euanthe were brought into synonym with Vanda, [9] [10]

Species Edit

The following is a list of Vanda species recognized by the World Checklist of Selected Plant Families as at January 2019: [11]

How to Propagate Vanda Orchids

While there may be various orchid propagation methods, the surest way to accomplish Vanda orchid propagation is to take a cutting from the tip of a plant with a healthy system of aerial roots.

Look closely at the plant and you can see white Vanda orchid roots growing along a stem. Using a sharp, sterile knife, cut several inches from the top of that stem, making the cut just below the roots. Generally, it's easiest to make the cut between sets of leaves.

Leave the mother plant in the pot and plant the newly removed stem in a clean container filled with potting mix formulated specifically for orchids. Never use standard potting soil or garden soil, which will kill the plant.

Water the baby orchid thoroughly until water drips through the drainage hole, and then don't water again until the potting soil feels dry to the touch. This is also a good time to get the Vanda orchid off to a running start with a light application of a water-soluble, 20-20-20 fertilizer or a special orchid fertilizer.

Origins and description

The Vanda is an orchid native to the tropical belt of the Asian continent, a very large area. The various botanical species (more than sixty) grow spontaneously in India, Indochina, New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, the Philippines and Northern Oceania.

They have a very variable appearance and size: the smallest reach just 20 cm, the largest can even exceed 2 meters in length. They are all epiphytes or lithophytes, like many other orchids native to rainforests: they do not sink their roots into the ground, but use them to cling to trees or rocks. They live essentially thanks to the minerals they find there and to rainwater. The leaves are oval and narrow, ribbon-like or cylindrical, and grow in symmetrical pairs starting from the central rhizome. In the lower part there are the aerial roots, very fleshy. Over the course of the year they can produce up to 3 very long-lasting flower spikes, mostly between the end of winter and the beginning of summer. Each bears from six to eight flowers with sepals and petals identical to each other, but which can differ greatly depending on the species or hybrid. They usually come in shades of white, purple, blue, fuchsia pink, yellow and orange, often crossed by streaks and spots of different colors.

For their cultural needs they are usually grown in suspended or hanging wooden baskets, leaving the roots totally free. A nice alternative is also the cultivation on a very large raft, ie a specially prepared piece of wood (cork).

Vanda orchid ... some cultivation tips

Good day and welcome back to this column. You can find us and interact more easily with questions and our answers on our Facebook group "Blossom Suite - Orchids: care and sale". We will take care of giving simple tips for managing the plants we keep at home, on the balcony or in the garden.

This time we will deal with a very fascinating orchid that, by now, is quite commonly found in florists, gardens and specialized shops: the Vanda orchid. Unfortunately it is almost always presented in glass jars. The average cost is not low because an adult specimen is already some years old.

Glass jar is a wrong condition in which to keep a vanda

In nature, like all other epiphytic orchids, it grows along the trunks of trees, so even those who keep it hanging are not exactly ideal conditions, also because in this way it becomes very demanding to cultivate because on average at home the level of humidity is low, so the roots tend to dry out quickly, unless continuous nebulizations (even several times a day).

So how to grow this beautiful orchid? After years of experimenting I have seen that I have come to the same conclusion as many professional growers. In other words, to take a rather large pot, given the size of the root system, of plastic material because on earthenware pots the roots adhere very strongly and in the event of repotting the roots certainly break, creating considerable damage to the plant. numerous holes on the walls in order to guarantee sufficient air circulation and thus avoid stagnation, mold, etc. that could make the plant sick. Then the plant is placed inside and the jar is filled with corks (the same ones used for wine bottles) or pieces of expanded clay, many pieces of charcoal that have antiseptic and antifungal functions and finally a handful of lapillus since the vanda it is also a lithophyte.

Another solution for those who want to keep it hanging is to take a coconut fiber basket, then always fill it with caps, charcoal and a little lapillus.

Example of vanda in baskets, with the foresight that over time some roots can twist around the iron and a wire cutter may be needed to cut the iron

For the rest, the Vanda has the opposite problem to the common phalenopsis ... in fact it requires a lot of water, with daily watering and if it is not potted up to 5 times a day in summer (including holidays ... so think about it) and a weekly or more diluted fertilization every time it gets wet. As for the temperature, it takes at least 18 degrees in winter, while it easily goes over 30 degrees in summer.

As an exhibition it is much more demanding. Not only does it like it but it is necessary if you want to see it again in bloom, a very intense light, even direct sun, avoiding only the central hours. For those who can, as soon as the minimum is above 18 degrees, they can put it on a porch, on the terrace or under some plants so that it gets sun in the morning and / or afternoon.

Video: Collecting Orchidsvanda From The WildVlog

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